In England and Wales, property owners and letting agents have been legally required to protect the tenants’ deposit for an assured shorthold tenancy since 6th April 2007. The tenants’ deposit is protected through a tenancy deposit scheme. This scheme aims to deal with any disputes regarding the deposit and such disputes would be dealt with by an impartial party.
What should you do if the property owner does not return your deposit?
You should be aware of your rights as a tenant if the property owner does not return your deposit. Property owners who do not give your deposit back can be taken to court and fined up to 3 times the deposit amount. This is because the property owner has a legal responsibility to secure your deposit.
Before you escalate the situation, you should try to speak to your property owner first to resolve the issue. During your conversation, you should remind the property owner that it is their legal responsibility to secure the deposit and return it within 10 days after the tenancy has ended. If the property owner still does not respond, you should contact the deposit protection service that the deposit has been secured with and then you can follow their dispute resolution process. In the case that the property owner has not secured your deposit, you can take legal action against the property owner through a small claims court to claim compensation which you can find on the HMRC website.
What should you do if the property owner is deducting too much of your deposit?
Property owners have the right to make deductions if they are justified. Some justified reasons for making deductions include:
However, if you think that the property owner has deducted too much of your deposit, you can follow a similar process as the one above in which you should try to have a conversation with them before escalating the issue to court.
The information in this post is valid to the best of our knowledge on the date of posting. It is advised that you seek independent advice based on your individual circumstances.
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